Author Archives: Erik Brooks

Report Cards Out: South Milwaukee Schools Meet Expectations

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions is out with its 2013-14 school and school district report cards.

The verdict for South Milwaukee? The district as a whole solidly “meets expectations” with a score of 68.9.

As for individual schools …

  • Blakewood exceeds expectations, with a score of 74.5.
  • E.W. Luther meets expectations, with a score of 70.1
  • Rawson meets expectations, with a score of 68.1.
  • Lakeview meets expectations, with a score of 63.7.
  • South Milwaukee Middle School meets expectations, with a score of 67.9.
  • South Milwaukee High School meets expectations, with a score of 69.2.

You can search for report cards by district here. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal offer some context.

Of course, the best context is what you see with your own eyes. And, as the parent of a Rawson first- and fourth-grader, I see a school (and school district) committed to first-class education.

We should all be proud of our South Milwaukee schools.

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Filed under Schools, South Milwaukee

Drexel Town Square Update

Big progress being made in this transformative Oak Creek development …

Check out photos from the Business Journal here.

I’m excited about this development. Projects like this will lift the entire South Shore, including our fair city.

I can’t wait to see it open.

(Here is the Drexel Town Square website.)

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Filed under Oak Creek

Fitness Challenge Kickoff Event Set For Saturday

There is still plenty of time to sign up for the South Suburban Mayors’ Fitness Challenge.

Please do so here … and consider stopping by the Challenge kickoff event at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Oak Creek East Middle School, 9330 S. Shepard Ave.

Even if you can’t take part, there are PLENTY of other opportunities to get fit this fall. The Challenge Facebook page has more information on upcoming events, including joining specials for South Shore YMCA, a weight loss workshop in Oak Creek and a Fall Zumbathon for Human Concerns at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11 at Blakewood School.

I’ll keep you posted on the blog with regular updates, and please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, comments or concerns. I’m looking forward to getting fit!

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Filed under Community, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee

South Milwaukee Sports Update: Big Football Game This Friday Vs. Greenfield

From the school district …


The Rockets improved to 4-0 on a rainy cold Friday night after a 13-6 win over Whitnall.

Justin Oliden (12) threw a 60-yd TD pass to Mitchell Dess (12) and Dess also picked off a Whitnall pass late in the game to help to seal the victory. This was a defensive battle and Coach Morse’s defense held the Falcons to 18 yards rushing. Joey Nelson (11) led the way on defense with 9 tackles and Mike Kowalski (11) had 2 sacks

The Rockets next game is this Friday at Spaltholz Field with kickoff at 7:00pm. The 4-0 Rockets will take on the 3-1 Greenfield Hawks in a key Woodland East showdown.

Friday forecast – High of 70 and sunny!


The Rockets hosted their 8th annual Rocket Relays on Saturday and tied for 3rd place as a team! Great job by Coach Sarah Nowak and Coach Kasia Brzezicka and all of the Rocket swimmers & divers!

  • New Berlin Eisenhower 324
  • Franklin 254
  •  South Milwaukee 242
  •  Oak Creek 242
  •  Wauwatosa West 226
  •  Greenfield 202
  •  Racine Park 164
  •  Racine Horlick 158
  •  Greendale 148
  •  St. Thomas More/St. Francis 100
  • Cudahy 98
  •  Kenosha Bradford 62

1st Place in the 400 yd Individual Medley Relay (4:50.05)

  • Holliday, Alexis 10
  • Bocek, Haille 11
  • Uehling, Eryka 10
  • Bellis, Zoe 10

3rd Place in the 300 yd Backstroke Relay (3:36.46)

  • Conner, Morgan 9
  • Thayer, Mackenzie 9
  • Reed, Christine 11
  • Bocek, Haille 11

4th Place in the 850 yd Freestyle Crescendo Relay (9:28.54 26)

  • Bellis, Zoe 10
  • Uehling, Eryka 10
  • Swanson, Natalie 12
  • Holliday, Alexis 10

4h Place in the 400 yd Freestyle Relay (4:21.04)

  • Thayer, Mackenzie 9
  • Hernandez, Vanessa 9
  • Halama, Taylor 12
  • Uehling, Eryka 10

Results from 9/10/14 Dual Meet

South Milw Rockets defeated St. Thomas More/St. Francis on Wednesday!

Varsity Score was 39 STM/SF vs 134 SM.  The JV score was 29 STM/SF vs 103 SM.

200yd Medley relay

  • Haille Bocek, Zoe Bellis, Emma Hernandez, Taylor Halama took 1st with a time of 2:15.29
  • Mackenzie Thayer, Melanie Zabler, Kourtney Kaszuba, Morgan Conner took 2nd with a time of 2:27.69

200yd Freestylers: Alexis Holliday took 1st with a time of 2:10.87 and Natalie Swanson took 2nd with a time of 2:24.61.

200yd I.M.: Haille Bocek took first with a time of 2:41.59, Vanessa Hernandez took 2nd with a time of 3:01.53

50yd Freestylers: Zoe Bellis took 1st with a time of 27.20, Taylor Halama took 2nd with a time of 29.99

Diving: Allison Osell took 1st with a score of 184.60

100yd Fly: Emma Hernandez took 1st with a time of 1:30.92

100yd Freestyle: Natalie Swanson took 1st with a time of 1:04.77, Natalie Swanson took 2nd with a time of 1:05.99

500yd Freestyle: Alexis Holliday took 1st with a time of 5:38.07, Kelly Mildebrandt took 2nd with a time 6:34.28

200yd Freestyle Relays

  • Taylor Halama, Natalie Swanson, Alexis Holliday, Zoe Bellis, took 1st with a time of 1:54.11
  • Vanessa Hernandez, Kelly Mildebrandt, Grace Schneider, Emma Hernandez took 2nd with a time of 2:09.04

100yd Backstroke: Haille Bocek took 1st with a time of 1:12.75, Mackenzie Thayer took 2nd with a time of 1:15.36

100yd Breaststroke: Zoe Bellis took 1st with a time of 1:19.42, McKenzie Halwas (STM/SF) took 2nd with a time of 1:27.69

400yd Freestyle Relays

  • Mackenzie Thayer, Haille Bocek, Natalie Swanson, Alexis Holliday took 1st with a time of 4:20.93
  • Emma Hernandez, Vanessa Hernandez, Kelly Mildebrandt, Morgan Conner took 2nd with a time of 4:43.66


The 34th Annual Rocket Invite Cross Country was held at Grant Park last Saturday. As usual Coach Druckrey, Coach Watson, Coach Hiegel, Coach Oelschlager, and Coach Miller ran a fantastic meet! Great job by the Rockets!

The individual champion on the boys side was Josh Janusiak (12). Maddie Wood (10) took 2nd overall for the girls. Good luck on Saturday at the Racine St. Catherine’s Meet at UW-Parkside!

Boys Varsity (115 runners total)

1, Joshua Janusiak SR 16:03

13 Jordan Janusiak FR 16:49

14 Chris Sobczak SO 16:49

41 Justin Weber JR 17:43

75 Damon Dettmann SR 18:28

86 Wyatt Schlager FR 18:47

87 Sam Zakovich SR 18:48

Girls Varsity (95 runners total)

2 Maddie Wood SO 19:16

28 Rebecca Heller JR 21:13

45 Samantha Meszaros SR 22:01

53 Alex Krane FR 22:23

60 Madeline Smith SO 22:47

70 Rebecca Schoenike SR 23:26

Boys JV (257 runners total)

44 Andrew Gargulak JR 19:36

47 Andrew Wimmer SR 19:39

57 Nick Schultz SR 19:56

80 Aaron Sowinski SO 20:33

99 Ethan Lentz FR 21:17

108 Danny Rolefson SO 22:16

110 Max Moran FR 22:20

Girls JV (181 runners total)

117 Hannah Breher FR South Milwaukee 26:41.29

119 Melissa Merkel SO South Milwaukee 26:51.15

166 Alexis Evert FR South Milwaukee 30:53.23

168 Jordan Barnes JR South Milwaukee 31:03.15


The Rockets took first place at the Riverside HS Varsity Invitational last night! In doing so they avenged a close loss to Brown Deer from last week by defeating Brown Deer not once but twice to win the tournament! Congratulations Rocket Girls’ Volleyball!!

Good luck today at Greenfield to the freshmen, JV & Varsity teams!

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Filed under Schools, South Milwaukee, Sports

Sign Up For Emergency Alerts Through The City

I highly recommend this service, in which the city continues to invest …

What if . . . A child was missing in your neighborhood and your help was needed. OR There was a hazardous chemical spill and your family needed to evacuate. OR After the storm goes through, where will you find recovery assistance for your family?…

The City of South Milwaukee, in cooperation with AlertSense system (©) is pleased to offer its residents a quick and reliable way of receiving emergency messages and alerts by phone or text message.

This AlertSense system has the capability of notifying residents by phone in the event of an emergency that affects your neighborhood. This is done utilizing a pre-established landline phone database. ‘

In the event of an emergency, you may receive an automated phone call advising you of the nature of the situation and the appropriate measures to take. The caller will always identify themselves as being with the City and may leave a phone number for you to contact for further information.

An added feature of this system allows people to sign up their mobile phones or other communication devices to receive these alerts by text message. (NOTE: This is a free service, but normal text messaging rates based on your wireless service plan will apply.)

To sign up, it is not necessary to complete a registration for a landline telephone, as these numbers are currently available to the alerting system. To sign up your mobile phone, go to AlertSense at or there is a link on the Cities home page

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Filed under City Services, South Milwaukee

Grant Park Beach Cleanup Set For Sept. 20

From the Friends of Grant Park, an opportunity to volunteer …

Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Friends of Grant Park will hold a beach clean up on Saturday, Sept. 20th, from 9 a.m. to noon. We will meet in the beach parking lot (weather permitting) and will provide plastic bags, gloves, bug spray and lemonade for participants. To register for this event, go online to and type in Grant Park Beach, then select “north of playground to rock wall jetty”. Then enter your information to register.

Alliance for the Great Lakes was formed in 1970 and is the oldest Great Lakes organization in North America. Their mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.

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Filed under Parks, South Milwaukee

Introducing … Rocketober!

Update: We just launched our Facebook page :)

We’re just a few weeks away from Rocketober.

Rocketober? That is the name we’re giving to the collection of community-building events building up to Halloween that promise to make October truly something special.

The goal: Build on the fact that we’re already the only community in Milwaukee County to offer Halloween evening trick-or-treating by bringing to life a series of family-friendly activities throughout the month.

Some of these events already exist. There are some new ones too.

By jointly planning, branding and promoting them, this will make all of them better – and create a real point of pride for our fair city.

So, I give you Rocketober. Check out the full schedule here.

Print it off, hang it on your fridge, share it on your Facebook page.

Here just a glimpse at some of the things happening in October in South Milwaukee.

  • Thursday, Oct. 2: The Homecoming Parade is back! The parade goes up 15th Avenue from Maple and is followed a community pep rally and bonfire. The Homecoming game is Friday, Oct. 3, vs. Cudahy.
  • Thursday, Oct. 9: The South Milwaukee Downtown Fall Family Festival returns with free pumpkins and pumpkin decorating, vendor trick-or-treating and a dusk showing of “Hocus Pocus,” the last of three Guardian Movies in the Market.
  • Friday, Oct. 17: Tales and Tombstones is also back after a hiatus. Learn about famous figures in local history like Rawson, Fowle and McCreedy at a candlelit tour followed by refreshments at First Congregational Church.
  • Saturday, Oct. 25: This is a full day of family fun, with a couple of new events. It starts with kickball, costumes and more at South Milwaukee Little League, followed by activities at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, a downtown trick-or-treating scavenger hunt and a Halloween House presented the South Milwaukee E-Lions/Friends of the Mill Pond at the Mill Pond Warming House. The Halloween House is also open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26.
  • Halloween: Of course, the month ends trick-or-treating on Friday, Oct. 31. Hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This list is just the start. From events at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center to a Rocktoberfest beer tasting to Justice for a Cure Day to a Human Concerns Haunted House, there is lots happening next month. And I can’t wait.

It’s been fun working with the dedicated group of community volunteers and business owners organizing these individual events. I thank them for their efforts and am excited to see what next month brings. I hope you are too.

Happy Rocketober!


Filed under Community, South Milwaukee